Cannabis moratorium coming to Austin

(ABC 6 News) – The City of Austin is hesitant to move quickly when it comes to the new cannabis laws.

Without clear guidance from the state, they want to take their time.

It’s been one week since the legalization of marijuana went into effect in Minnesota, but that doesn’t mean communities are ready with a plan quite yet.

With the Office of Cannabis Management still under construction, businesses won’t be able to actually acquire licenses until 2025.

The Austin city council may have a solution with a moratorium.

“The moratorium simply allows the city to say to everyone look, while we’re waiting for licenses to roll out just know that there is no zoning in Austin that allows this retail use,” city attorney Craig Byram said.

To put it simply, it means businesses can’t have a retail sales location before it has a license.

This would give the city time to pinpoint areas to allow cannabis businesses to operate.

Some though, don’t want to wait for direction from the state, they say it’s time to act now.

“I don’t see the point of the moratorium at this point,” councilmember Mike Postma said.

Councilmember Postma says it’s better to act now than to let the issue drag on as it’s an issue that will eventually need a solution.

“I think that we can come up with what we need to do locally. I mean that’s the first of August, like we can have something ready to go by February and March as far as location,” Postma said.

After discussions on how they should move, the city council finally came to an agreement.

“Pass the moratorium now, with the understanding that our goal would be to have businesses that as soon as it’s legal for them to sell, we would be in a position where we have a safe and responsible license in the right areas of the city that we want to,” councilmember Jason Baskin said.

The city council hopes the moratorium doesn’t impact anyone since they won’t be able to obtain a license now anyways.

They sat it’s necessary because of any potential changes the state may make between now and 2025.